x Spatial Simulation & Games

Geography 199 Section 27; SRS# is: 207 830 227; MWF 10 'til noon; Powell Library, third floor, room 307: CLICC Classroom "A."
Office Hours noon 'til 1 or 2: Kinsey B-68 moving soon to Hershey 3119.

FALL quarter (6 units) - Lecture and computer laboratory six hours. The first of three multidisciplinary courses in computational thinking, description and explanation. Emphasis on methods. May be taken as a sequence or independently. Includes practical exercises in DreamWeaver, PhotoShop and C++. No programming experience required. Familiarity with the PC recommended. This course introduces the languages of computation, simulation and gaming as new ways to describe, understand and predict the complex physical, social and cultural patterns of behavior that arise from much simpler processes. The simultaneous interaction of many individual agents at a local level of description gives rise to many surprising and complex patterns of behavior at a global level of analysis. In order to understand this phenomenon called "emergence," participants will construct their own graphical multiagent worlds as laboratory experiments using elements of the C++ language for PCs. This course provides an exploration and critique of the methods of processes of artificial life, artificial culture and evolutionary computation as they apply to research in the social, natural and physical sciences, humanities and the creative arts contrasting them with traditional modes of explanation. It views science as the practice of creating increasingly reliable, economical and entailed representations of the external world. No programming experience required. P/NP or letter grading. Limited to 14 participants (that's the number of computers that we have). Since this is the first offering of this course we have had to list it as a 199 even though it is not an independent studies course. It can be taken for normal or honors credit.

Frightened by the thought of programming? We will be using new visual tools with drag-and-drop components. It is really not that difficult. We welcome participants from all departments. We want you! Read what previous participants have said. Check out the participant reviews of a similar course and the instructor's profile. Please email me with any questions at gessler@ucla.edu.


  1. Come to class and I'll have the paperwork.
  2. Or contact Heidi Hanzi, Geography Student Affairs Advisor.
    Email = hhanzi@geog.ucla.edu.
    Phone = 310-825-1166.
    Office = 1254 Bunche Hall.